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Appeal for water customers to be mindful when turning on the tap

By Vickie Ford (Clerk) Boughton Malherbe Parish Council

Tuesday, 12 July 2022


Boughton Malherbe Parish Council Contributor


South East Water is asking people to be mindful of the amount of water they are using as hot temperatures push up demand beyond levels expected for the time of year.

And with the hot weather forecast to stay across the region for at least the next week, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees, customers are being asked to be mindful when turning on the tap.

With customers drawing record amounts of water at the same time, extra pressure is being put on the company’s extensive water network. In some cases this is causing water pressures to drop, meaning water can’t flow from the taps as quickly as customers want.

The amount of water available in reservoirs and groundwater stores in the South East is currently good but in the past couple of years there has been a dramatic rise in household water usage with demand going up in hot weather by 50 per cent.

Saving water has never been more important with the predicted risk of water shortages by 2050 because of the hotter drier summers caused by climate change as well as an increasing population.

To stop water from being wasted across South East Water’s network the company has a dedicated leakage team which looks for, monitors and repairs leaks around the clock on its 9,000 miles of water mains – enough to stretch from the UK to Australia. In the past 12 months, around £20 million has been spent on fixing and detecting leaks in our supply area.

Lee Dance, Head of Water Resources at South East Water said: “We have been producing an extra 120 million litres of drinking water every day - the equivalent of 20 million flushes of the toilet – for our 2.3 million customers to use but if everyone uses a lot of water at once, demand can outweigh the amount of water we are able to treat.

“So we would like to ask everyone to think about how they are using their tap water while they are making the most of this lovely weather. If we’re all able to make some small changes, it will make a big difference. For example, to keep hydrated why not fill up a jug and pop it into the fridge so refreshing cold water is always available without wasting a drop by running the tap until cold.

“In the garden giant paddling pools are increasingly becoming popular, but a standard pool can use up to 400 litres of water – that's enough to fill four full water butts. When it comes to emptying it rather than letting it go down the drain, think about reusing the water on the garden to give plants a good drink along with refilling empty water butts to use the next day.

"By not using sprinklers or hosepipes, this will also make a massive difference to how much water is being used.

“In the home only use washing machines and dishwashers when full.

“Although we're used to managing high demand and have tried and tested plans in place, we are grateful to customers who play their part by using water wisely, so that we can continue to keep water flowing to everyone.”

Everyone can make a difference by being more mindful and adopting some simple hints and tips to save water.

These include:

  • Let nature water your grass- Allow lawns to go brown – it will soon go green again when it rains
  • Save paddling pool water- Top-up and reuse paddling pool water for your plants and grass
  • Put down the garden hose – Use watering cans for lawns, plants and flower beds, instead of garden hoses
  • Running taps are wasteful- Don’t let taps run when brushing your teeth – turn them off
  • Take shorter showers- Knocking a minute or two off to take shorter four minute showers
  • Fill your dishwasher before you use it– Don’t use your dishwasher until it is full and save water and energy
  • Wash your car less frequently - it’s a small change that will make a big difference for everyone.

For water saving tips along with water efficiency freebies go to (

Contact Information

Vickie Ford (Clerk)

Find Boughton Malherbe Parish Council

Rill House, The Street, Ulcombe, Boughton Malherbe, Sandway, Kent, ME17 1DR